Dr. Ed Sickafus Memorial Archives

   (5) USIT Web site:  www.u-sit.net
Ed Sickafus
Accessed & Edited by Toru Nakagawa 

 Access:  Mar. 14, 2020;  Posted: Mar. 22, 2020

Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, Mar. 14, 2020)

This page is a restructured copy of the USIT Web site developed by Dr.Ed Sickafus, as is the form accessible at present. 


  Structure of Sickafus' U-SIT Web site:  http://www.u-sit.net/ 

(compiled by Toru Nakagawa, Mar. 14, 2020)

  Site Structure:  Ntelleck, LLC Web site on Unified Structured Inventive Thinking

Top page:                             Broadening Problem-Solving Skills

Home:                                  THREE Ways to Learn Structured Problem Solving 

USIT Textbook:                    "Unified Structured Inventive Thinking – How to Invent" (1997)    [See more in ]

USIT at Ford Motor Company: 

REGISTRATION:                 [Not accessible]

Purchase textbooks:                  [See the present arrangement in (TN, Mar. 17, 2020)]

U-SIT and Think NewsLetter:      [See more in ]

HI Textbook:                       Heuristic Innovation (HI) Textbook           [See more in ]

Essays:                                     [See more in ]



  Broadening Problem-Solving Skills

As a professional technologist, have you ever been invited to serve on one of your company's ad hoc problem-solving teams? Do you have the brainstorming skills to be effective on such a team? Many technological and business issues arise in companies and spur management to assemble temporary teams of recognized problem solvers to brainstorm a given issue and produce as many solution concepts as possible in a brief period. If you saw the following ad could you respond with confidence?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *   Wanted  * * * * * * * * * * * * *   
*  Creative technologists with experience in invention        *
*             Include a list of your patents in resume                 *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If not, you could by learning unified structured inventive thinking (USIT).

Expand your problem-solving skills and your value to a company as a reliable innovator in problems of all types.

Learn how to create unusual thinking paths by

*  reducing a problem to its generic essence;
*  rapidly analyzing it in terms of interacting objects, their attributes and the functions they support at metaphorical points of contact;
*  minimizing the number of objects in order to isolate individual problems;
*   finding plausible root causes;
*   finding unusual insights and converting these into new thought paths engaging both brain hemispheres; and
*   finding multiple solution concepts through a variety of graphic metaphors.

This is the pre-engineering phase of problem solving where rapid brainstorming produces solution concepts from a variety of heuristics (mental problem-solving devices). Mathematics and technical specifications are not required in this phase.

Click free essays on USIT




THREE Ways to Learn Structured Problem Solving

1. USIT Textbook
The basics of structured problem solving of routine day-to-day design-type problems and of problems requiring invention are taught in the "Unified Structured Inventive Thinking – How to Invent" textbook.

2. HI textbook
For those who have attained confidence in the discipline of USIT, the textbook "Heuristic Innovation" brings new emphasis to its practice designed to streamline inventive thinking by stressing more the engagement of both brain hemispheres and less the use of structure. See (1) in Essays.
Mini-lectures in the "U-SIT and Think Newsletter" cover a wide range of USIT related topics mostly focusing on techniques for learning and applying USIT methodology to all manner of problems.

3. U-SIT and THINK Newsletter    
3. HI Newsletter: Mini-lectures on structured problem solving are sent in the U-SIT and Think Newsletter. Register for your free subscription. In the Registration page you will find available back issues in bundles of 10 pdf files.


 USIT Textbook

"Unified Structured Inventive Thinking – How to Invent"

The USIT textbook establishes a unified approach to
      ∆   self-consistent definitions,      ∆ viable problem definition,    ∆ logically organized procedure,
      ∆ plausible root-cause analyses,    ∆ solution techniques,            ∆ new concept generation,
based on three fundamentals: 
objects,  attributes, and the functions they support.

Examples, demonstrations, and exercises are employed to speed the learning process with deference to logical (left-brain) thinking. USIT addresses the pre-engineering phase of all problem solving – the concept-generation phase. Pre-engineering includes all manner of problems. USIT does not solve problems; nor does any other problem-solving methology – you do!

USIT shows the way to new perspectives of the same thing others face but can't seem to find the insight for creative thinking. You too can invent.

View Table of Contents

 [See more in ]


 USIT at the Ford Motor Company

USIT at the Ford Motor Company

In 1995 I introduced structured-problem solving into Ford Motor Company – a modified version of the original SIT and ASIT, developed by Dr. R. Horowitz and his colleagues. The work was called systematic inventive thinking (SIT), it stressed invention, and was highly popular with students.

This work began in the Electronics Division of Ford Motor Company and was soon moved to the Research Laboratories where I was manager of the Physics Department. It was deemed that the most valuable aspect of SIT for Ford was not its use for invention but its use in routine day-to-day engineering design-type problems. With that goal in mind structured inventive thinking began to be developed (SIT).

Invention was not omitted but was given less emphasis in favor of providing technologists with an effective tool that could be used even on mundane problems. Unified structured inventive thinking sprang from this work and was published as a textbook with Ford permission.

Three-day courses were offered monthly. Graduates brought company problems to 1 ½ hour, twice weekly, follow-up training sessions. Attendees came from various divisions of the company and from all levels of engineering (including quality control) and research up to the vice president level. Courses were taught in Ford engineering facilities in the US, Europe, and Australia. A four-person, full-time USIT team was formed and charged to apply USIT to corporate problems worldwide.



[Note (TN, Mar. 14, 2020):  This page is not accessible. ]


 Purchase textbooks:

Special Offer: Both the USIT-textbook (hardbound, $44.50) and the HI-textbook (electronic, pdf, $22.50) are available for the price of one – $44.50 US – plus shipping&handling for the hardbound book. This offer is good while the USIT-textbooks remain in stock. Payment may be made by check drawn on a US bank or by credit card service provided by PayPal. After completing registration and publication selections you will be transferred to PayPal to complete a credit card purchase. The USIT textbook will be delivered by Preferred US Mail. The HI textbook will be mailed to your email address at the end of completing your transaction with PayPal. Click REGISTRATION

[Note (TN, Mar. 14, 2020):  This page is not valid now.  Will be announced sometime later. ]

[See the present arrangement in (TN, Mar. 17, 2020)]


 U-SIT and THINK NewsLetter

This free newsletter is designed to aid the student and the instructor of unified structured inventive thinking as it is taught in the USIT textbook. Topics in the newsletter are selected at random and are not organized, but may continue through several issues. Discussions, suggestions, and Q&A are invited.

The main part of the newsletter is a mini-lecture. These may pose, and/or demonstrate, problems that challenge one's creative imagination. They may also present very simple inventions to be addressed in order to direct the reader's attention to the goals of USIT; namely, to aid the discovery of new perspectives of a problem from which solution concepts may be found.

The mini-lectures are translated into Spanish, Japanese, and Korean. Readers may be found in more than 40 countries.

Free back issues of the newsletters are available in bundles of 10 issues. Click on REGISTRATION where you will find selections of free publications you are invited to read. You are simply requested to register for these publications to enable tracking of USIT worldwide. Your registration data are private and are not distributed in any way.

Example: An excerpt from NewsLetter_40.

1. Conclusion of "How to Invent a Better Drinking Vessel":  Many heuristics have been published over the years for use in inventing. Of course, the most popular, and most used, is brainstorming. For speed, brainstorming is hard to beat. It gets things done quickly. But it is more like flushing the mind of the obvious. Too often this is where problem solving ends for many technologists. Yet this is where one should now turn to structured-problem solving; it's the ideal place to begin USIT.

One heuristic of USIT has been demonstrated in the foregoing mini-lectures on inventing a new drinking vessel. I refer to this type of problem as invention based on a prototype. It is a common situation that industrial problem solvers often face when their company decides that it is time to reinvent a product. As demonstrated, the key to this heuristic is to tie attributes into new functions without immediate concern for objects – a fresh perspective.

Heuristics are the heart of problem solving methodologies. Heuristics used by engineers and scientists in solving design-type problems are the non-algorithmic, empirical tricks, tools, and techniques learned academically and from experience. They do not solve problems. Instead they give pause to look at problems in different ways for new insights.

[Note (Toru Nakagawa, Feb. 22, 2020):  USIT News Letter was published and sent to subscribers, from No. 1 (Nov. 15, 2003) to No. 79 (Mar. 20, 2009).  All the News Letters will be posted in this Dr. Sickafus Memorial Archives.  See ]



 Heuristic Innovation (HI) Textbook

"Heuristic Innovation – Engaging Both Brain Hemispheres In Rapidly Solving Technical Problems For Multiple Solution Concepts"

This "HI" textbook is an extension of USIT for greater speed and creativity by those who are practiced in the fundamentals of USIT. Basic definitions of USIT, their application, and ways of thinking about them are taken directly form USIT. The USIT practitioner who understands the structure of USIT is weaned from dependence on that structure in favor of more efficient practice that focuses almost entirely on problem definition, a la USIT. Flow-chart tedium is deprecated. The process uses no flow chart but instead iteratively develops the problem definition in ever deepening detail and understanding. Creativity is expressed through the practice of accomodating both brain hemispheres in developing problem definition and in finding solution concepts. Multiple heuristics are used in many ways. So important are these devices that a section is devoted to their generification and derivation from six fundamental axioms of problem solving.   

View Table of Contents

   [See more in ]



Essays, Papers, Talks, Miscellaneous Writings
(Click on the one you wish to read.)

1.  "Heuristic Innovation and its Development – from Unified Structured Inventive Thinking"

2.  "Injecting Creative Thinking Into Product Flow"  (1998 Conf.)   (==> See Papers& Presentations page )

3.  "Problem Statement"

4.  "Metaphorical Observations"   Japanese translation (Jul. 31, 2001)  

5.  "A Simple Theory Underlying Structured Problem-Solving Methodologies – ASIT, TRIZ, USIT and others", abstract and text of the keynote address delivered at the Second TRIZ Symposium in Osaka, Japan, August 31 – September 2, 2006.   (==> See Papers& Presentations page )

6. PowerPoint slides for (5) (in PDF) . You will need Microsoft PowerPoint to view these slides.  (==> See Papers& Presentations page )

7.  "Unified Structured Inventive Thinking – an Overview". Free ebook in pdf format. Register for your free copy. Spanish translation is also available.  (==> See Books, Overviews, Tutorials page )


 [See more in ]


Top of this page

Sickafus Memorial Archive  Welcome page

Sickafus Memorial Archive  Index page

(1) Memorial page

(2) Historical index (A) Papers

(2) Historical index (B) Case studies

(2) Historical index (C) Communications

(3) Sickafus' Books

(4) Sickafus' Papers, Presentations

(5) Sickafus' USIT site

(6) Sickafus' WordPress site (A) Top

(6) Sickafus' WordPress site (B) Blog

(7) Sickafus' USIT NewsLetters

(8) Sickafus' Communications, Miscellaneous Articles

(9) Comments by others

(10) From Readers 

USIT Overview (2001)

Brief USIT Tutorial (2015)

  Japanese Archives Index page


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  Last updated on Mar. 22, 2020.   Access point:  Editor: nakagawa@ogu.ac.jp